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Australian winter support for Pakistan earthquake survivors.

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The Hon Bruce Billson MP Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs

AA 05 105 01 November 2005

Australian winter support for Pakistan earthquake survivors

Australia will tonight fly a further 1,700 woollen blankets to Pakistan for immediate distribution to survivors of the recent devastating earthquakes, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Bruce Billson, announced today.

‘The new shipment is in addition to the 4,800 woollen blankets, 330,000 water purification tablets and 1080 vials of tetanus immunoglobulin sent to Pakistan last week,’ Mr Billson said.

‘Australia is responding to fears of significant winter hardship and will send a further 1,000 sleeping bags and 840 woollen blankets later this week.

‘Those left homeless by the tragedy are in desperate need and Australia will continue to monitor the situation and respond to requests for assistance. This will include the provision of logistics officers to UN agencies,’ Mr Billson said.

‘Australia’s five-person Critical Infrastructure Assessment Mission to Pakistan has just presented its assessment of hospitals and schools to the Government of Pakistan and is also being reviewed by the Australian Government’s overseas aid agency, AusAID.

‘Australia’s total contribution now stands at $14.3 million, which includes a $7.5 million response to a UN Flash Appeal being channelled through the WHO, UNICEF and the WFP.

‘Funding of $1.2 million has also been provided to six Australian NGOs - The Fred Hollows Foundation, Caritas Australia, Save the Children Australia, AUSTCARE, Plan International Australia, and TEAR Australia,’ Mr Billson said.

Media contact: Shane Fairlie (Mr Billson’s office) 0408 680 442 AusAID (Public Affairs) 0417 680 590

Media releases and speeches are available on AusAID’s internet site